Salif Keïta (b. in 1949) is a Malian musician and singer.
Salif Keita (born August 25, 1949) is an internationally recognized afro-pop singer-songwriter from Mali. He is unique not only because of his reputation as the Golden Voice of Africa, but because he is person with albinism and a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita.This royal heritage meant that he should never have become a singer, which was deemed to be a griot’s role.
Keita was born in the city of Djoliba. He was outcast by his family and ostracized by the community because he has the condition of albinism, a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture.He left Djoliba for Bamako in 1967, where he joined the government sponsored Super Rail Band de Bamako. In 1973 Keita joined the group, Les Ambassadeurs. Keita and Les Ambassadeurs fled political unrest in Mali during the mid-1970s for Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire and subsequently changed the groups name to Les Ambassadeurs Internationales. The reputation of Les Ambassadeurs Internationales rose to the international level in the 1970s and in 1977 Keita received a National Order award from the president of Guinea, Sékou Touré.
Keita moved to Paris in 1984 to reach a larger audience. His music combines traditional West African music styles with influences from both Europe and the Americas, while maintaining an overall Islamic style. Musical instruments that are commonly featured in Keita's work include balafons, djembes, guitars, koras, organs, saxophones, and synthesizers.
Keita found success in Europe as one of the African stars of world music, but his work was sometimes criticised for the gloss of its production and for the occasional haphazard quality. However, shortly after the turn of the Millennium he returned to Bamako in Mali to live and record. His first work after going home, 2002’s Moffou, was hailed as his best album in many years, and Keita was inspired to build a recording studio in Bamako, which he used for his latest album, M'Bemba, released in October 2005.
Soro - 1987 - Mango
Ko-Yan - 1989 - Mango
Amen - 1991 - Mango
Destiny of a Noble Outcast - 1991 - PolyGram
Folon - 1995 - Mango
Rail Band - 1996 - Melodie
Seydou Bathili - 1997 - Sonodisc
Papa - 1999 - Blue Note
Mama - 2000 - Capitol
Sosie - 2001 - Mellemfolkeligt
Moffou - 2002 - Universal Jazz France
The Best of the Early Years - 2002 - Wrasse
Remixes from Moffou - 2004 - Universal Jazz France
M'Bemba - 2005 - Universal Jazz France
The Lost Album - 2006 - Cantos